If you don’t know where you’re going, then you’ll get nowhere fast.
…”I had a discussion with a great master in Japan… and we were talking about the various people who are working to translate the Zen books into English, and he said, ‘That’s a waste of time. If you really understand Zen… you can use any book. You could use the Bible. You could use Alice in Wonderland. You could use the dictionary, because… the sound of the rain needs no translation’.”
– Alan Watts
“How to stop time: kiss.
How to travel in time: read.
How to escape time: music.
How to feel time: write.
How to release time: breathe.”
Matt Haig , Reasons to Stay Alive
If you think you need all the information before you make a decision then you’ll never act. There are always more data points to analyze. It’s infinite. The trick is to be decisive in the face of incomplete information…and it’s always incomplete.
“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”
– John Muir
Do you ever look in the rear view mirror and re-litigate decisions in your head? The “woulda, coulda, shoulda” shtick. Most of the time it’s not a productive exercise, but it can be enlightening if you use it as a barometer to asses your tolerance for risk and openness to learn.
As you push the envelope you are going to make mistakes. Slip ups are part of being out of your depth and wading into new space. I’d argue that a life of zero defects probably means you aren’t experimenting enough.
Experimenting and trying new things means giving up some of the outcome control, but it also accelerates learning and exercises your risk muscle.
Look back and learn.
Staying in the center is safe. It’s stable and you have your footing. Shuffling out to the edge will get your stomach into knots and make you sweat – even if it’s ice cold. That feeling in your stomach is called risk.
It’s a different view of the world out there but you can only see it on the edge…and that knot in your stomach is why most people don’t venture out. I don’t think that feeling ever goes away – but it’s worth it and there’s no going back.
You know when you are in the flow. Decisions feel like perfectly paired joints locking together. Opportunities in the form of people, ideas and things uncloak. You don’t look back or forward, there is only now. Recognize and remember the flow feeling. You’ll know it when you feel it.
The bad news: See all the trauma out there? Conflicts around the world, suffering, spineless politicians, nasty comments on the web, fake news, propaganda, greed in business or selfishness close to home. The bad news is that all that stuff is a reflection of you. All the trauma ‘out there’ is a reflection of what’s ‘inside you’. Everything. 😕
The good news? Change yourself and you change the world. Every time something out there pisses you off, makes you angry, guilty or sad – that’s the cue to look inward and start the work. It takes discipline to look inward. It’s easier to blame others, retreat or get angry. Practice every day. 😌
This is my favorite line from The Big Lebowski. It can be used every day in any situation.
New shit comes to light every day. Accept, adapt and go with the flow man.